Will you be gardening this year?

I just began seriously gardening last spring, and I found it to be the total package for overall health. I wish I’d started sooner.

I like it so much, and find it so effective, that I turned gears last summer and made it the focus of my diabetes prevention efforts.

Here’s the garden project I’ve been working on (this picture taken this past summer).  It’s a 3,000 square foot garden located at the Boys and Girls Club of Presque Isle. Gardening with kids is a great way to get them to try vegetables if they are picky eaters. I’ve found they will give anything a try if they plant or pick it themselves. I even got them to try nasturtium flowers.

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We grew tons of summer and winter squash, several varieties of cucumbers and tomatoes, husk tomatoes, snap peas, pole beans, fava beans, eggplants, cabbage, kale, greens, and strawberries.

This year we’re expanding the garden with raised beds that individual youth members will tend, and a community orchard.

If you haven’t done much gardening or you’d like to start, it’s never too late, and these are some great resources to check out:

I really like using the Old Farmers Almanac garden planner, which can help you design a garden space and help you plan out how many vegetables can be grown in a square foot or plots of various sizes.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds has a ton of useful information (see the grower’s library on the homepage) and because it’s a local company it’s tailored to our climate in Maine. You can go through their detailed catalog and pick out what will grow well in your particular area.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension page for gardening and yards.